Few knew the reason Dr. Zoe Hansen changed jobs, apartments and friends was she’d caught the attention of a stalker. She was safe while he was out of the country. But he returned and Zoe became his hobby again. Red Stone Security’s resources, specifically former SEAL Sawyer McCabe step up to guard Zoe’s body…er life. Then her stalker is found dead and Zoe’s arrested of his murder.
Though cleared of the murder charge, it was obvious someone framed Zoe which meant her life could still be in danger. Receiving mystery mail means it’s not over and Sawyer’s not leaving Zoe’s side as the smoldering embers they shared become flames. Being influentially despicable bought Zoe’s stalker many enemies and plenty of false friends as the police uncover suspects galore.
Lively Zoe runs the gamut of emotions and has excellent chemistry with agent du jour, Sawyer in this nicely written and vividly woven tale. The reader is quickly invested in an illusion of a love affair at its most terrifying. It shakes a strong, capable and independent woman to her core first she lives with fear then fights to keep her friends, love and on her terms. Definitely a series favorite!
While Mina looked at lingerie in preparation for her wedding to Blue, newest Red Stone Security agent, Ivan Mitchell looked at lingerie shop owner Julieta Mederos. Ivan was enchanted by the petite beauty from the moment he saw her and it doesn’t hurt that she’s Lizzy’s best friend. Noticing Jules pale at the bridal shower, Ivan quickly finds out she’s being stalked and assigns himself as her protection.
Though Jules had been noticing Ivan she wasn’t certain they were looking at each other the same way or for the same reason. Now that they’re seeing things eye to eye she’s grateful for his help. Ivan’s sure the explicit texts and vandalism incidents at Jules’ shop are connected and attaches himself to her side.
Distracted by everything, Jules brings Ivan into the bosom of her family. They’re charmed, especially when they find out about his Ranger background and how seriously he’s taking the threats to Jules’ life. Meanwhile, her stalker is more than a little upset that there’s now a man in Jules’ life and steps up his elaborate plans to solidify his own future with her.
It’s been a year but former Marine and new Red Stone Security agent Alexander Blue is still feeling things out. After wrapping the case that brought him to Key West, staying over a few extra days felt right. Going out to grab a bite to combat the loneliness, Blue goes to the rescue of local artist Mina Hollingsworth from three thugs during a not so simple mugging.
Mina tried to disguise the effect Blue had on her as she tended Blue at her apartment, she’s convinced he’s ex-military and there was more to the mugging since she was from a prominent family but refuses to call the police. Blue doesn’t understand why but doesn’t push as he tries to tamp down his feeling. As Mina’s kidnappers get new orders and watch them, Mina and Blue sort their feelings.
Seven years ago former SEAL Vincent Hansen was looking forward to starting a new job with Red Stone and getting engaged to grad student Jordan Alvarado. But before he could ask her she disappeared. Jordan had seen the serial arsonist working the area, trying to escape his latest target with her unconscious friend and tried to stop him.
The case was so sensational and complex she was put in the witness protection program and now that the suspect and his accomplice are dead, Jordan’s left the program and tracked Vincent down. But somebody somewhere made a mistake because someone’s certainly stalking her now.
Red Stone security agent Iris Tarango married her best friend Wyatt Christensen on a whim and immediately fled to Miami. But the sexy tycoon was having none of it! Their marriage wasn’t a whim to him. He’d loved her since they were children but her job was dangerous and whatever she thought she needed he could provide.
Iris loved Wyatt but was afraid of all he represented and could only think to try to put things as they’d been before. Even the mansion in an exclusive neighborhood enclave was anathema to her. But when attempts are made on his life, Wyatt wastes no time hiring Red Stone and calls in an old favor to ensure Iris is part of his security. Almost as soon as she arrived, Iris agreed to give their marriage a try.
Another attempt causes collateral damage but with everything neatly explained the police step out and call it closed. But that same neatness worries the Red Stone team. When the culprit makes another bold and desperate strike against Wyatt, he’s unwittingly given Red Stone their own grudge and they pull out all the stops to end the terror.
Wyatt and new character Iris had really good chemistry and served their layered relationship well. This outing was the first to explore the no less decorated or desirable females at Red Stone Security, hopefully, it won’t be the last. As usual this tasty morsel of a read was just enough everything to satisfy.
Even though tattooed Red Stone Security agent Travis Sanchez was glad his last assignment didn’t cost him his job, he wasn’t happy when he left his boss’ office. With the holidays rapidly approaching an no family locally, he’d rather work instead of taking the forced vacation. With no need to go to the office he can’t easily stop at the coffee shop to see barista Noel Baskov.
Sidetracked from getting in his truck and going home, Travis takes the opportunity to help Noel as she rushes past him to help a teen in trouble. Hearing the details, it quickly becomes obvious Noel’s rushing headlong into Red Stone Security type trouble. At the scene the problem becomes even more complex when death and revenge are part of the backdrop of the budding romance.
Harrison Caldwell was concerned. Living with Mara as her husband he could tell when something was wrong and something was definitely wrong now. Sure they met and married in less than a year because they couldn’t keep their hands off each other but he did love her. Their physical relationship hadn’t changed but it didn’t mean something wasn’t wrong because it was. He’d just have to ask.
Mara’s not talking and especially not up for discussion are the healed scars on her back that Harrison’s asked about and she’s sure he recognizes them for what they are. Mara was already in her new life with distance from her past when she fell in love with her husband and hoped with enough time it would stay there. Now her past in the form of Neville Purdue was here threatening Harrison.
Harrison wasn’t giving up the woman he loved without a fight, he didn’t work at a premier security agency for nothing. Mara wasn’t a helpless female but Harrison had no idea of her level of skill and her need to try to protect him even if it meant giving up what they had. There’s a perfect mix of just enough character, romance, sexy time, suspense, action and drama in each fast paced short of the series.
Miami detective Grant Caldwell’s days are full recuperating and remembering how six months ago he lost his focus on a drug bust by saving a small child and getting caught in explosion that left him with burn scars and a pin in his knee. Just as his daily pity party was getting in full swing it was interrupted by his new, very attractive neighbor, Belle Manika, calling out for help.
Rescuing Belle was no problem but Grant felt self-conscious about his obvious scarring. As a nurse Belle wasn’t put off by the scars and found herself flirting with Grant. She explained away her earlier trouble but he was wary. Overnight Grant saw a burglar breaking into Belle’s but couldn’t catch him. When it seemed Belle may have a stalker, Grant’s protective instinct went into overdrive.
The likeable leads in this fast paced short had good chemistry and fitting roles. As a man defined by his job, Grant’s insecurity was on target and gave a good entry to joining the family business. Belle’s profession and experience logically had her looking past the scars to see the man beyond. While the suspense piece was good the insta-love was fast even for a short or soup!
Widow Charlotte Bastien was vulnerable and in desperate need of comfort the night her husband’s mistress called and his friend Red Stone Security Agent Kell Malone stopped by to check on her. Neither is likely to ever forget their one incredible night, she named their reminder Reece and he looks like dad. When Kell finds out about their son, he insists Charlotte and Reece move in at least temporarily.
Charlotte’s wary because emotion wasn’t their problem, commitment was. She hadn’t been able to accept what Kell offered and wasn’t certain she was ready now but she didn’t want to stop anything he wanted for Reece. Settling into a routine, Kell’s at work and Charlotte takes Reece to the park and unfortunately witnesses a murder. Unfortunately the murderer saw Charlotte and plans keep her silent.
The fast paced, bite-sized installments of this series never fails in its mission and rarely has over the top moments and for my taste Charlotte and Kell are an example of the standard (for this series) great characters in more or less ‘it could happen to you’ situations.
It wasn’t just the family motto that made computer security specialist Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Martinez going to rescue her brother, Bennie, yet again from a drug lord’s house but this time his choices could end up making her a prisoner or worse a victim. Just as things were getting worse, Lizzie’s ex-boyfriend, former marine Porter Caldwell came in like a one man cavalry and swooped Lizzie and Bennie to safety.
Lizzie ineffectually fumes that gratitude is one thing but Porter has some explaining to do and there’s no way she can get Bennie out of trouble by herself. Porter never stopped wanting Lizzie and isn’t looking forward to the fight they’re going to have over the reason they broke up to begin with, the same reason she fights with her family… Bennie endangering them with his underworld lifestyle!
Now that Bennie’s troubles have brought Lizzie into the drug lord’s orbit, he believes everything Lizzie is, is owed to him as well and Porter’s going to make sure gets nothing. With Lizzie as the prize, Porter’s law enforcement family circle the wagons around her to keep the drug lord’s hired guns at bay. Meanwhile neither Lizzie’s loyalty to Bennie nor her desire for Porter can be shaken.
While there were times this reader wanted to shake Lizzie, the action, chemistry between the leads and Porter didn’t disappoint one iota. The villain and secondary characters worked well for the story and a couple of the characters seem ready for their own spotlight. For my taste the world building itself could have been a bit stronger but as this is a fairly long series, I suspect is forthcoming.